With over 30 years' experience designing and manufacturing coin-operated games, we want to share with you the knowledge we have gained throughout the years. Use this resource center to educate yourself on the coin-op industry, especially relating to ticket and prize redemption operations.
Momentum in the Industry By: George McAuliffe
New Family Entertainment Centers (FECs) are opening at an increasing rate. However, with the increased share of the American out of home entertainment market our industry is capturing, comes greater responsibility.
Many are wondering when the US market will become saturated. We believe that there is still plenty of room left to grow because we are now mainstream entertainment. I routinely visit FEC’s with my son and my father for fun, that is three generations all enjoying the same experience. While the games have changed, the vast majority of the population of the United States has grown up playing pinball, video games, cranes, and/or redemption games. The market is thoroughly educated about games, and will spend money when a facility nearby that executes a good experience opens. I suggest readers start looking at commercials and tv shows closely and see how often games are portrayed. I’ve seen them on the opening of Saturday Night Live, in various commercials, and of course Dave and Busters highlights games often in their national tv advertising. These are largely positive portrayals of our industry, however as FEC’s become a bigger part of American culture there can be more scrutiny and we need to consider our image.
I was recently watching a television show called Breadwinner with my 5 year old son, and was disturbed to see the clip I’m providing a link to below.
Here is the key quote that peaked my interest that the character said in reference to a claw machine aka crane “these games are impossible to win, so I’m going to rake in the mula from anyone dumb enough to play!”
That is exactly the kind of message we don’t want our young customers and their parents to receive. This is even more disturbing because I know that there is some truth to this clip in some facilities around the country. We’ve always believed in allowing for a 25% cost of goods in cranes, and never believed in autopercentaging. As our industry grows quickly and many manufactuers, operators, and other providers to our industry are generating significant profits it is even more important that we consider our image in the minds of the general public. The good news is we’ve been seeing significant progress on this in recent years, I’ve been very encouraged by the leadership major chains and manufacturers are showing on issues of fair play and creating great guest experiences.